94 KIPLING'S SUSSEX
We must not let old customs decay, for such things are vital to man. We will sing the tramp's song and drink to the ghost of the noble past."
When the tramp's jingle had been trolled out by the whole panjandrum—Lord, how we all gave that throat!—the time had come when the good people must be going, and when the last had paid his reckoning and gone his way under the star-litten sky, I drew my chair up to the fire (for I was to sleep in the house that night) called for a mug of Smith's noted Lamberhurst ale and filled one more pipe to smoke with the landlord. And then to bed.
About two miles from Appledore Station we come to the church and village of Fairfield, another of the small and lonely settlements which dot the borders of the marsh. The truth of Kipling's lines :
" Oh ! Fairfield Church is water-bound From Autumn to the Spring."
may be appreciated from a circumstance recorded about eighty years ago by Hasted : " For the greatest part of the year, the marshmen could only approach their church by boat, or on horseback, and, in the latter case, they waded through the waters up to their saddle girths."